Sunday, 6th November

The conclusive day will be devoted to the pursuit of a common PIIGS Code. Thanks to the research of Marianna Liosi we will analyze the “spectatorship of the crisis”, while Emanuele Guidi and Oliver Ressler will discuss the artistic practice of Ressler. Next up, Mauro Folci will present an idealistic possibility of a human life bereft of capitalist accumulation’s, later, Cesare Pietroiusti’s workshop will focus on a plurilinguistic communication, despite different languages.

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The Financial Singing by Elena Mazzi

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Elena Mazzi, The financial singing, 2014, installation view
One of the main goals of PIIGS and curators involved in this project must be – and it has been so far – try to understand how artists approach to the crisis. In my research I had the chance to meet Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984), an artist who is often dealing with the concept of crisis in its wider meaning, not only from the economic point of view.
“I’m working since long time on the crisis. In 2009 I was in L’Aquila and I lived the experience of the earthquake. I started to think about the crisis as an opportunity for positive change, the chance to start again, also thanks to Per Bak and his book How nature works, in which the Danish physicist compares ability of nature to self-organize and how so this is imitated by men”.
I had a chance to talk with Elena Mazzi about one of her works in particular, The financial singing (2014), a video installation with two screens that, through a graph and a singing performance, on the one hand it provides a real track of the trend Stock Exchange of a specific context (USA 1871-2011), the other a musical interpretation of the same.
“At a certain point in his book, Bak faces the economic issue, especially how men reacts to changes. And the Stock Exchange is one of the clearest reflections of the trend of contemporary society. It is an unpredictable complex system whose line is characterized by high and low. It is a structure in which you can find a not linear rhythm, but in some way it is cyclical. In my opinion the American Stock Exchange is the symbol of Western capitalist society that has determined the course of the twentieth century. Working closely with a soprano we transferred the graph on the pentagram. The same soprano subsequently played it in a singing performance “. Continue reading “The Financial Singing by Elena Mazzi”

Saturday, 5th November

Saturday morning is devoted to the introduction of the latest researches and to the work of some of the artists involved in the project: Giorgio Cugno, Giulio Delvè, Sofia Dona, Anna Lascari, Fiona Marron e Serena Osti. Next up, Marta Pérez will introduce her latest research on the material and economical circumstances of spanish contemporary artists.
The afternoon session of talks will focus on theoretical aspects of each countries current economical system: Sinéad Hogan deals with the “debt issue” with a phenomenological approach. After that, Count(er) Glossary will develop, with the contribution of Federico Montanari, a crisis lexicon analysis from the most unclear anglicism to the well-known lexicon used in economical context. Next up, Giovanni Leghissa, Luigi Fassi, Giandomenica Becchio and Manuel Couret Branco, in different moments, will open a discourse with the purpose to provide an in-depth analysis of the contemporary economical system in order to propose a deconstructive way of thinking.


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Take_Action

TAKE_ACTION is a curatorial installation, concerning about political and aesthetic judgment, understood as action taking, in a plural and democratic fashion. We intend to argue that curatorship, besides selecting, exhibiting, translating and producing a discourse about artworks, can also promote, through a semi-fictional apparatus or a curatorial installation, the conditions for real action taking, and therefore for true political commitment by the audience. Hence, more than allowing a process of intellectual commitment to the themes related to the hegemony of capitalism and the economic crisis, we will assemble the necessary conditions for the viewer to act, indeed, in the world. To accomplish this purpose, we will implement a participatory exhibition process and apparatus (a specific form of network), achieved through the mediation of the aesthetic judgment, understood as political action (in the arendtian meaning of the terms), and therefore instigating political action itself. Continue reading “Take_Action”

Friday, 4th November

Friday talks are devoted to previous exhibitions about economic crisis in PIIGS countries. The first debate will be held by activists and artists from Escuela Moderna and the curators of PIIGS_An Alternative Geography of Curating. The second debate will be held by Michelangelo Corsaro, assistant curator for dOCUMENTA 14 and Laura Preston, editorial assistant for dOCUMENTA14. 
On Friday afternoon we host a section devoted to artists that will last till Saturday morning. With You’ll never work alone. Life, Art, Company and Project, Clara Madaro, the collective Apparatus22 and Parasite 2.0 deal with the idea of project inside contemporary artistic practices. Following that, Irish artists Fiona Marron presents her video After Automation (2013).

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Transnational Capitalism Examined by Oliver Ressler

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Oliver Ressler, Transnational Capitalism Examined, exhibition view.

Oliver Ressler (Knittelfeld, Austria, 1970) will have a prominent role in PIIGS’ public program (4 to 6 November, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin) and he will give his point of view on the economic crisis in its various aspects in dialogue with Emanuele Guidi. During the last months Italy has dedicated special attention to him through a series of exhibitions that allowed the Austrian artist to expose his line of research. Everything Under Control was the first solo show in an Italian institution, ar / ge kunst Bolzano (26 February to 30 April 2016), an exhibition that primarily highlights the importance of video as a medium of a narrative that focuses on the ambiguity of the language used by the capitalist system to hide the effects of the crisis – not only economic – and the disparities between North and South. The exhibition reached its climax with Occupy, Resist, Produce (2014-2015), a three-channels video installation that in centralized on the meetings of workers of factories which had been already abandoned by their legal owners (Milan, Rome, Thessaloniki), their voices from the inside compare one to another and try to propose alternative social systems. The Visible and the Invisible (2014), also exhibited in Bolzano, is the last video of Transnational Capitalism Examined: Dancing on Systemically Important Graves, at the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome (27 September to 26 November 2016). This artwork tells the thorny reality of the commodity trade, particularly in Switzerland which is the main actress in a wild trading that acts only virtually as the products never pass through the Swiss territory. Ressler opposes to this invisibility the often catastrophic, visible, exploitation of the mining areas and of human labor in the South. The images flow marked by a smoky layer, a metaphor for the deadly toxic emissions that have anything to do with the calm, almost anonymity of Swiss commodity trading headquarters, authorized companies that contribute heavily to increase the gap between the northern few enriched and misery of the South. The exhibition in Rome proposes four other videos, the graphic rendering of an installation and a small bibliography that emphasizes on the one hand the Ressler’s documentary attitude, on the other his belief of art as sharp critical tool. In The Bull Laid Bear, made in collaboration with Zanny Begg (2012), those governments that have tried in every way to push through the banking crisis as collective economic crisis, contributing to the worsening of the global situation. The work includes four interviews with economists and activists which alternate a series of humorous cartoons of gangster bankers and corrupt courts. The Ressler’s survey is completed by Transnational Capitalism Examined: Border as Method, the second part of the roman project curated by Mike Watson, exhibited at The Gallery Apart (28 September to 26 November 2016).

Pastificio Cerere – Transnational Capitalism Examined

The Gallery Apart – Transnational Capitalism Examined 

Gianpaolo Cacciottolo

ASSUMPTION

ASSUMPTION /əˈsʌm(p)ʃ(ə)n/

I A thing accepted as true for no clear reason, without proof. Assumption are central in the production of economic models in general. Contrary to what is generally assumed, within the realm of social sciences modeling process, assumption are not only qualitative, but also quantitative. In particular, the role of assumptions is critical in the creation of the so called composite indicators, on which, for example, the OECD evaluates Country performance (see also Ranking, Efficiency). The composite indicators are pivotal in the definition of international and national socio-economic policies. Continue reading “ASSUMPTION”

PIIGS Against Creativity.

In order to understand many of the ways of representation and visual production in Europe today if we understand EU in terms of the relationship center-periphery or north-south as seems to be the PIIGS concept’s starting point. This idea is the dialectic success-failure that seems to build expectations from people around the world have been imposed as Sensus Communis in every possibility, but especially in the neoliberal Europe today. One of the most powerful elements used to articulate the discourses of late-capitalism, and therefore in the european disruption the term of PIIGS make reference to, is ‘creativity’.

We trust, in this sense, that one of our most consolidated narratives is being influenced by an ‘ideological creativity’. A logic summed under the narratives of the austerity measures or the entrepreneur that can elucidate a society that needs the creative impulse to go on. In a context based on the image saturation, the cultural projects proliferation and the increase of artistic institutions; the word art seems to accompany to every contemporary production. Continue reading “PIIGS Against Creativity.”

Check the condition. A real-time archive on the emergent curatorial open calls in Spain

In the most outstanding work of Spanish literature, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes said that ‘proverbs are short sentences that come from experience and speculation of our ancient sages’. In Spain, traditional proverbs called ‘refrán’, are quite used regularly.
One of them, ‘por amor al arte’, translated as ‘for art’s sake’ or ‘because of love to the art’, refers to the free labour as a result of a passion: art. It is a saying used in any type of activity, however it assumes a lack of economic report in artistic activity. We can see how the speculation of the sages, which Cervantes made reference, has been maintained over time. It became the norm working ‘for art’s sake’. Especially in the field of art, it has always been perceived the development of unpaid work justified by the mere ‘passion to art’. Continue reading “Check the condition. A real-time archive on the emergent curatorial open calls in Spain”

Economics for an active citizenship

Manuel Couret Branco, associate professor of economics at the University of Évora, Portugal, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, of Paris in 1988. He teaches mainly Development Economics, History of Economic Thought and Political Economy of Human Rights. His research interests concern mostly the interaction of economic and non-economic factors, such as ethics, politics, culture or inequality.
His latest publications include the book “Economics versus Human Rights” published by Routledge and the articles “Economics Against Democracy”, “The Political Economy of the Human Right to Water” and “Can Markets Secure Human Rights”. He his currently working on a new book that has the tentative title of “Political Economy for Human Rights” where he explores alternatives ways of thinking and practicing economics. Continue reading “Economics for an active citizenship”